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Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Resources for Flood Cleanup and Indoor Air Quality

Información disponible en español 

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Flood water can make the air in your home unhealthy. This is because when things remain wet for more than two days, they usually get moldy. Inhaling mold can cause adverse health effects, including allergic reactions. Mold also can damage materials in your home. In addition, flood water may contain microorganisms, such as bacteria, or chemicals which may affect your health.

On This Page:


General Resources for Flood Cleanup and IAQ

For basic information on how to clean up after a flood and how to prevent indoor air problems:
For information on ordering the following publications, visit EPA's National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP).

Flood Cleanup - Protecting Indoor Air Quality

Cover to Factsheet Avoiding Indoor Air Quality Problems During Flood Cleanup

This fact sheet contains basic information on flood cleanup with illustrations and links to more detailed information

Fact Sheet: Flood Cleanup - Protecting Indoor Air Quality

Homeowner's and Renter's Guide to Mold Cleanup after Disasters

Cover to Homeowner's and Renter's Guide to Mold Cleanup after a Flood

This document was developed by EPA, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), the and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  It summarizes basic procedures for mold remediation after flooding and other disasters. 

Key Messages:

  • Wear personal protective equipment. Wear an N-95 respirator at a minimum, goggles, and protective gloves.
  • Use portable generators carefully, outside and away from the home, to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and fires.
  • Ensure the mold cleanup is complete before reoccupying your home.

This guide is available in two languages:

English and Spanish

Flood Cleanup and the Air in Your Home: Booklet

Cover to the Flood Cleanup and the Air In Your Home document

This easy-to-read booklet tells you how to clean up after a flood and how to prevent indoor air problems with helpful illustrations.

Note: This 28-page booklet prints in landscape as a 15 page printout. Please set your printer to landscape before printing.

The booklet is available in three languages:

English Version EPA 402-K-07-002
Vietnamese Version EPA 402-K-06-006-VIE 
Spanish Version

Flood Cleanup and the Air in Your Home: Poster

Poster about Flood Cleanup and the Air In Your Home

This poster tells you how to clean up after a flood and how to prevent indoor air problems with helpful illustrations.

The poster is available in three languages:

English Version (EPA 402-H-07-001)
Vietnamese Version (EPA 402-H-06-001)
Spanish Version

Technical Resources for Flood Cleanup and IAQ

Technical Report on Flood-Related Cleaning

Cover of the technical report on flood related cleaning

This document addresses strategies for safely returning flooded buildings to habitable conditions after a hurricane or other weather event. It is a technical summary of existing research and guidance on health hazards from floods, flood damage, and cleanup activities. EPA’s Indoor Environments Division commissioned the report; however, it does not necessarily represent EPA policy.

Technical Report on Flood-Related Cleaning

Flood Cleanup Webinar Presented by Dr. Gene Cole

Flood Cleanup Webinar Presented by Dr. Gene Cole
This is a recording of the July 16, 2018, technical assistance webinar “Flood Cleanup” featuring Dr. Gene Cole and hosted by EPA’s Indoor Environments Division. Dr. Cole addressed many flood-related issues, including: specific remediation requirements for various types of water damage; use of biocides and personal protective equipment; best methods to reduce health and safety risks; and how to determine when remediation is complete. 

Mold: Worker and Employer Guide to Hazards and Recommended Controls

Cover to Mold Worker and Employer Guide to Hazards and Recommended Controls

This document was developed by EPA, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Occupational and Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  The document summarizes basic procedures for mold remediation after flooding and other disasters with an emphasis on worker protection. 

The guide is available in two languages:

English and Spanish
 

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Additional Information on Floods and Hurricanes

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